Paco’s Story Readalong Part 3

Welcome to week three of the Paco’s Story read-a-long.

We hope everyone has had a chance to read Chapter 5. Here are some questions for discussion:

1.  Is the identity of the narrator becoming more clear?

2.  What is it about the work at the Texas Lunch that makes it so easy for Paco to assimilate?

3.  What is the purpose of the dream sequences?

4.  Why do you think Ernest and Jesse are so forthcoming with their war stories, but Paco is not?

Please share with everyone you first impressions, thoughts, and your own discussion questions in the comments or on your blog. Sign into Mr. Linky if you blog about the first chapters with the full link to your post.

Disclosure: Clicking the book title link will bring you to an Amazon affiliate page.


  1. The work at the Texas Lunch is hard work that keeps him all day, and he has a routine to follow, not to mention that it’s easy, mindless work.

    It seems like the narrator is one of the soldiers who died at Fire Base Harriette, as he mentions that he and the others haunt Paco at night. I guess the dream sequence shows us how messed up Paco is mentally and brings in the ghostly aspect of the story. Ghosts seem to be a recurring theme in literature of the Vietnam War.

    Ernest and Jesse saw their share of horrors in war, but Paco’s injuries and the aftermath while he sat there waiting for help seem way more traumatic, which maybe is why he doesn’t want to talk about it. Or Paco’s being haunted by the ghosts of the dead soliders and it torments him, makes him not want to dredge up any of the pain during his waking hours. It just goes to show you that some veterans are willing to talk about it, get the pain out in the open to heal, while others keep it locked inside. And Paco’s wounds are still very fresh.

  2. I’m glad that you all were right about the narrator..well..for the most part! I would have never guessed it on my own. I think it works really well for this story too.

    I think the dream sequence is to show us just what Paco is going through. He’s definitely suffering.

    I also think it’s not as easy for him to talk about his experiences because it’s still too fresh for him. I also think he hasn’t really come to terms with it and I think that what he went through was sooo bad…it’s not going to be easy for others to really understand his feelings about it and what he is going through.

    I can’t wait to look at everyone else’s answers once they link them.

  3. Unfortunately, Paco’s inability to be forthcoming with other Veterans just demonstrates how injured his psyche is.

  4. Kris: Thanks for weighing in. Sounds like we’re on the same wavelength with this book. I think you’re right about how no one would really understand Paco. Not even Ernest or Jesse. They weren’t the only ones left like Paco was. That’s gotta be tough to deal with.

  5. […] the month of July.  If you’d like to learn more about the book, check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of the […]

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